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Virtual Academy staff excited for inaugural year, still accepting applications

Virtual Academy


The staff and administration of the Johnson City Virtual Academy are eagerly awaiting the beginning of the inaugural school year for Johnson City’s newest school. The Johnson City Virtual Academy (JCVA) will be the lone opportunity for students in grades 5-12 to participate in a virtual setting through Johnson City Schools.

The Virtual Academy seeks to maximize flexibility for students and families while providing a strong learning experience for all learners. Teachers will use both live instruction and fully online approaches to delivering instruction while also providing weekly opportunities for small group and individualized support and consultation. Teachers at the JCVA will use the same curriculum resources used across the Johnson City School District as well as have access to the same online instructional tools used in our other schools. 

Virtual Academy Principal George Laoo has been busy this summer as the district worked to assign teachers who are eager to lead the way for the district. Laoo said that each member of his staff is very excited to open the district’s 12th school.

“We have a very talented staff and each member of our team is looking forward to the opportunity to engage with our students in a virtual setting,” Laoo said. “We hope that our program will be able to eliminate any struggles students may have in a face-to-face setting, and we will work to establish close bonds within our school. Our teachers are looking forward to providing students with the high level of instruction that has come to be expected in Johnson City Schools.” 

Former Indian Trail teacher Lisa Messimer will teach 5th-grade social studies and said that she is looking forward to the opportunity after teaching virtually for the 2019-2020 school year.

“Months of planning have gone into the new virtual academy and we believe that it will provide students with the opportunity for more individualized attention and feedback,” she said. “At the Virtual Academy, we will have devoted tech and student support personnel who will help make the educational experience second to none.”

Science Hill Spanish teacher Hillary Delgado said that she is very excited to be a part of Johnson City’s newest school. Delgado taught Spanish 1 and 2 remotely last year and noted that she enjoyed the opportunity. She said that she was blown away by how well the virtual model worked for students. 

“Online learning provides so many opportunities for flexibility and differentiation through the use of technology and various platforms,” she said. “I wanted to continue to grow in my use of educational technology and provide students individualized and effective learning opportunities in a non-traditional environment.”

Delgado will teach Spanish 1, 2 and 3 through the virtual academy and said that she is planning on providing a virtual experience that follows what many students will encounter in postsecondary education. Her class schedule will include synchronous live meetings three days a week for instruction, collaboration and feedback. The other two days will be asynchronous in which students will have learning tasks to complete on their own. She will also offer office hours for any questions, concerns, or meetings with individual students.

“I am super excited to be a part of this new endeavor in our school system,” Delgado said. “It is an honor to have the opportunity to be on the front end of a new venture.”

For more information or to fill out an application, please visit 

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